This week's episode of
Swingtown can be neatly summarized as a battle for the affection/attention of various members of the Miller clan. Let's size up the competitors:
God: Susan is feeling guilty about dipping her toe into the spouse-swapping pool and its aftereffects on her friendship with Janet. She's also peeved at her husband's penchant for exchanging meaningful kisses and business cards with casual female acquaintances. So she decides it's time for her family to get some religion. After some enforced grace over breakfast, Susan packs her clan off to church. Unfortunately, this scene seems to go nowhere. No epiphany is forthcoming, at least not a religious one.
Janet: After church, Susan asks Janet to help her plan a housewarming party she has apparently just decided to have in a ploy to get the hyper-organized Janet to hang out with her again. Janet commandeers the party, making it a square affair -- with corny ice-breaker games, old-fashioned music, and something called Pigs in a Pickle (pickles surrounded by cream cheese and deli meat, which, if Janet hadn't made it, would be a fairly suggestive dish). Her efforts to make the evening a success are cute and neurotic, but clearly misguided, as evidenced by the arrival of the new neighbors.
Trina: What's the sexier hors d'oeuvre: pickles and cream cheese... or hot cheese fondue? (Forget it -- don't answer that. It's like a creepy Rorschach test.) Trina literally Sterno-heated things up upon arriving at the party, gifting the aforementioned fondue set (perfect for kissing games!) and a voyeuristic video camera (perfect for those "more private moments," Trina purrs).
I know I keep describing Trina as predatory, but tonight it was like she and Tom were secret agents whose mission it was to infiltrate enemy territory, so to speak. Much props go to
Lana Parrilla, whose performance is so enjoyable that I am blushing less and less as the weeks go by and rooting for her to succeed. (Is that weird?) Over a precariously piled plate of Swedish meatballs, Trina confronted Janet about, of all things, when to serve hot hors d'oeuvres. Initially, I thought this was a bad move on Trina's part, since alienating Susan's old friend could backfire. But it's clear that this confrontation needs to happen. Trina won't get Susan back in her bed without making nice-nice with and/or minimizing the influence of Janet.
There was a promising moment of cuisine détente, as Trina complimented Janet on her Rosy Perfection Salad (what a name!), but methinks that Trina and Janet won't be exchanging anything more than recipes for the time being. But are you as hopeful as I am for that inevitable moment when Janet's careful veneer cracks, and she embraces the Me Decade fully?
In the meantime, though, the mounting tension between Susan's friends provided her an excuse for a "breakthrough," tearing the much-hated wallpaper from the dining-room wall and asking her guests to autograph the blank wall before they repaper it. It was a very symbolic gesture: Susan wants to partake in all the bawdy graffiti this activity yielded, but ultimately she wants it to be hidden from the public.
Roger: In previous episodes, Roger has seemed intrigued by the Deckers and their extracurricular activities, but when he catches Bruce in an innocent kiss with Trina, he is uncharacteristically judgmental, especially when Bruce 'fesses up to their Independence Day fourgy. I suppose Roger's attitude could be justified by his obvious crush on Susan, but I thought his reaction to learning of his best friends' experimentation would be less "Janet" and more "Trina."
Hottie Teacher: Laurie Miller spent this episode co-organizing a prison-literacy book drive with her hottie summer-school teacher, Mr. Stephens -- that is, Doug. Oh, and
kissing him! Teach looks like he's about 17 so they make an undeniably cute couple, but how will this awkward development play out once they're back in a classroom setting?
Samantha (aka Mini-Rollergirl): Could this storyline move any more slowly? Cokehead Mom gets some action at the party, leaving Sam to fend for herself when Ricky is
again all jealous of and nasty about B.J.'s burgeoning friendship with (yucky!) a girl. I like the dynamic between B.J. and Samantha, and I look forward to the day when she might have some reason to, you know, smile for a change.
Sylvia and Brad: At the 11th hour, though, it's Sylvia, the Sexy Bunny Lady Lawyer and her husband, Brad, the Soulful Shrink, who sweep in and capture the Millers' attention, most pointedly by leering as Susan draws a blank, curtained window on the denuded wall. When Susan asks Brad what he sees when he looks at her, the psychia-tryster improvises a seductive caricature of Susan, and the trio share a flirty giggle and a blush at the suggestive situation. As a result, this time it's Susan on the receiving end of Sylvia's business card, as the ladies agree to have lunch. Or maybe dinner! And maybe Sylvia will wear her bunny tail!
In the face of such rigorous seduction Olympics, Susan and Bruce are powerless, agreeing to nullify their one-time-only pact (that was a very short-lived pact, thank God!), to make their marriage completely open, at least when it comes to communication. "All options on the table," Susan says. The natural first step in this process is to film themselves having sex, which they promptly do. Bad idea! Haven't these people heard of Paris Hilton? Oh wait, I guess they haven't.
Next week: Twister! Boy, that Trina can turn any activity into an entrée for sex, can't she?
Still on board the
Swingtown Express? Which character is most like you? Explain. Sadly, I think I'm kind of a Roger, both intrigued by and afraid of the questions raised by the show's titillating relative morality. Time for therapy!
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This weeks episode of Swingtown can be neatly summarized as a battle for the affectionattention of various members of the Miller clan Lets size up the competitorsGod Susan is feeling guilty about dipping her toe into the spouse-swapping pool and its aftereffects on her friendship with Janet Shes also peeved at her husbands penchant for exchanging meaningful kisses and business cards with casual female acquaintances So she decides its time for her family to get some religion After some enforced grace over breakfast Susan packs her clan off to church Unfortunately this scene seems to go nowhere No epiphany is forthcoming at least not a religious oneJanet After church Susan asks Janet to help her plan a housewarming party she has apparently just decided to have in a ploy to get the hyper-organized Janet to hang out with her again Janet commandeers the party making it a square affair -- with corny ice-breaker games old-fashioned music and something called Pigs in